At 05:52 PM 14/07/02 -0400, Allen Roy wrote:
>I've missed some of this, but in the Bible there are only two verses -- one
>in the OT and one in the NT -- the that define what a soul is :
Actually, you should go back to the original (using a theological
dictionary, and a Hebrew and Greek concordance) to find that "ruach" is
sometimes translated as wind, sometimes spirit, sometimes breath, depending
on the translator and the "spirit" of the times.
"leb" is usually translated "heart" but has the meaning of "soul" as well
"nephesh" (and its derived forms) sometimes "soul", sometimes "life",
sometimes "living being", sometimes "life"
Similarly the NT forms.
The text you quoted in Gen.2 has the Hebrew "nephesh" , which is used in
Gen.1:24 for animals, but there translators translated it "living
creature," showing that translating has a lot to do with the thought
pattern of the translators, which is still often derived from a continuing
influence of Greek Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy. That is not so
strange when one realizes that the largest Christian church (RC) is still
often admitting that its philosophy is founded on Greek philosophy.
This subject is really to big to be talked about on this forum since it
needs a better knowledge of Hebrew an Greek than I have. Also, it needs
more knowledge than I have of philosophy. What I said above is taken from
college notes by Prof.Vollenhoven, and word-studies by students. Also, if
you read Dutch, see a booklet by the late Rev.Koers in Dutch "De terugkeer
van Jezus Christus." (published by Merweboek in 1991.) I read just last
week a student paper by Tony Hoff (spelling?) about "nephesh" again, and
was surprised how often the word was used in the OT. In the paper he
points to NT forms as well.
To be honest, I would like to see a young theologian take up the study of
these words. What I wrote above is not new. What I wrote about prof.
Vollenhoven I heard in his lectures at the Free University in 1942. The
trouble with even mentioning these things is that you go against
established thinking. When I was still working (first in accounting, and
later at the university in Mathematics and its philosophy) I simply did not
have the time to go thoroughly into this subject, and now I am not willing
to spend my last years arguing about it. But when I see some of the
remarks made, I cannot help but being surprised at the superficial way we
talk about subjects like this on this forum. I am convinced some
theologian should take up this subject, but the theologians I know are too
scared for the hassles that will follow. Some did in Holland, but none of
their works are translated to my knowledge. I refer to Telder, Smouter,
Koers, and there are others. In English I quote here from a booklet
published in 1952 in England by SCM Press: "The Body, a Study in Pauline
Theology" by John A.T. Robinson. p.80; (talking about man) "Its ultimate
destiny, . . . ., is transformation from being a natural body to become a
"soma pneumatikon" (iCor.15.44); from a body that is merely a 'living soul'
, 'earthy' and "mortal', to one quickened by the life-giving Spirit of the
last, or heavenly body, Adam (Rom. 8:11; 1Cor. 15:45-49); . . . with a
note at the bottom of the page: ""I.e. "a living being" "Psyche" is not
opposed to "soma", but translates "nephesh" of Gen.2:7 which designates the
body as animated. Then he criticizes the English versions, saying that
they put an emphasis where a Greek, but not a Hebrew would have done.
At the moment I am writing a bookreview for the ASA (Americ Scientific
Affiliation) and it strikes me again how many people, even philosophers and
physicists do not realize that "time" is something created by God as
well. So that when we are "out of time" (an old Dutch expression for
dying) we are nowhere, we will be resurrected when at the last day when we
who are alive will no go ahead of those that died, and are then being
Enough for now,
Jan de K.
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